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SaraJo Martin, Foothills Elementary

The following was submitted by Sarisha Martin.

“My mom, SaraJo Martin, has been dedicated to teaching Utah students for 35+ years. She has touched so many lives, and worked from sun up til sun down to emsure her students get the most out of her class.

Mrs. Martin started teaching 3rd grade at Riley Elementary, in Salt Lake City. She taught there for 30 years, in a Title 1 school. Every one of her students I encountered were always telling me how she was their favorite teacher. She also taught at the Guadelupe School in Salt Lake, where she taught immigrants English. We still have tapestries made by her students hung throughout the house. While she was working, she also managed to adopt 4 of us from India.

My mom took retirement after 30 years, but ended up going back into teaching in 2011. She got hired on at Foothills Elementary as a Kindergarten teacher, and this is where she works now. She even went through extra college classes to be able to get her ECE.

I think the most inspirational think my mom has done was continuing on teaching, regardless of her hardships. In 2017, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent 2 surgeries in January and still only missed maybe a week or two total. Her main focus was her Kindergartners.

In the Spring of 2017, she completed 6 weeks of radiation at Riverton Hospital, 5 days a week. She would teach her morning class, go to radiation for lunch, and then come back and teach her afternoon class. No matter how sick or tired she felt, she just kept going.

We got the confirmation that she is cancer free. So, this past June, she participated in Foothill’s Locks of Love assembly and donated 12 inches of her hair. She is an amazing example to her students and her family.

She is definitely humble and modest, but I hope she can get recognition one day for her hard work and dedication to her students.”